1929 A Palace for the People
The Regent Theatre and the accompanying Plaza Theatre opened on May 15, 1929. Intended as picture palaces, these ornate, lavish buildings were part of a glamorous entertainment era where a night out at the cinema was an exciting event on the social calendar.
Inspired by the New York Capitol Theatre, the Regent was designed by Cedric Ballantyne and was the third picture palace in the Hoyts Cinema chain. It was also by far the most elaborate, taking inspiration from Spanish Gothic and French Renaissance styles, with the grand foyer set to resemble a cathedral.
The smaller Plaza Theatre below was initially designed to be a ballroom. When they were denied a liquor license, the space was redesigned to be a second cinema with a distinctly Spanish design.